Ginnie The Pooh


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A Cocktail for a Bear

Get ready for the most unique gin cocktail. It's earthy, herbaceous, fruity, complex, and kissed with a bit of honey. It's the Ginnie The Pooh!

My inspiration for this cocktail is the forest, and more specifically the Hundred Acre Wood. There's fruitiness from muddled blackberries, herbaceousness from thyme, earthiness from bitters, and a bit of sweetness from honey. All of these flavors are wrapped up in gin, which is itself so complex, and kissed at the end with some ginger beer for a pop of bright flavor. It's like walking through the woods after a summer rain, when you can smell all the earthy smells coming up from the damp soil.

This cocktail is just plain fun. It has a lovely bright color, all sorts of wonderful flavors, festive fizz, and woodsy garnishes that are a bit over-the-top. This would be the perfect cocktail for Winnie The Pooh since it contains some of his most favorite ingredients. (Winnie likes gin, right??).

Pouring a cocktail into a glass with ice

Looking for Honey (aka Hunny)

We can't talk about Winnie The Pooh without talking about honey (or as he spells it, hunny). Honey actually enters into this drink in two ways. Barr Hill Gin, one of my most favorite Vermont products, is actually distilled from honey. It gives the gin the most lovely, complex, and balanced flavor notes. It's truly a wonderful product and is now available quite widely, so I highly suggest finding yourself a bottle. You'll also make a quick honey thyme syrup to sweeten the drink because Winnie The Pooh would much prefer a honey simple syrup over a regular simple syrup (obviously).

Honey Thyme Simple Syrup

This cocktail relies upon a simple syrup to get all that fragrant honey and thyme flavor into the drink. If you've never made a simple syrup before, don't let the fancy name intimidate you. It's actually really easy to do at home, and a simple syrup keeps great in the fridge for weeks.

A simple syrup is just a mixture of sugar (in this case, honey) and water, cooked down until it becomes thick and syrupy. It's a great way to capture flavors that are difficult to get into a liquid form... for example, thyme (which really doesn't muddle well) and honey (which is often too gooey to dissolve well).

The recipe below will walk you through making a honey thyme simple syrup, but this concept will work for just about anything you can dream up, so don't be afraid to experiment! Herbs, warming spices, and edible flowers all yield wonderful simple syrups.

Garnishing a cocktail with a blackberry

Make it Your Own

One of the things I really love about this cocktail is that it's easy to customize. Feel free to adjust the gin amounts to your tastes; because of the complex flavors, this works great as a very low-alcohol drink if you prefer. You can also adjust the sweetness as you see fit, adding more or less simple syrup. While I love ginger beer here since it really adds to the woodsy vibe, this would also work nicely with tonic.

When we have friends over, I prefer to make individualized drinks as long as it's for a reasonable number of people. I usually say "The house cocktail today is X, but I can make you a low/no alcohol version if you prefer, and I can also adjust the sweetness to your tastes". I think it's a nice way to give people control over their own drink experiences and make sure everyone gets something that works for them.

Do you have an empty honey jar, or perhaps even one of Barr Hill's honey-jar-inspired glasses?? If so, major bonus points for serving it in one of those, as I've shown below.

A whimsical gin cocktail

Let's Talk Ingredients

Here's what you'll need for this recipe, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.

  • Local honey
  • Fresh thyme. This drink really won't work right with dried thyme. Fresh is the way to go!
  • Fresh blackberries. In a pinch, frozen blackberries will work for creating the drink, although they won't make great garnishes since they tend to get soft.
  • Gin. Barr Hill from Vermont is my greatest love!
  • Walnut bitters. If possible, this drink works best with something woodsy, like walnut or pecan. Whatever you have on-hand is fine though.
  • Low-sugar ginger beer. We're smitten with Fever Tree's "Refreshingly Light", which is very gingery and not too sweet.
  • Woodsy garnishes of choice. More is more! Anything that makes you think of the forest is great. Think about fresh berries, herbs like thyme or rosemary, edible flowers, etc. In these photos I've shown the drink garnished with fresh blackberries, fresh thyme, and my mom's homegrown pink champagne currants.

Ginnie The Pooh cocktail with a gin bottle

Closing Thoughts

Another thing I love about this cocktail is that it transcends seasons. The berries are summery, while the thyme is wintry. Ginger beer is always a good idea. So this cocktail can really be enjoyed year round, whether you're sipping it on the deck alongside summer salads or beside the fire with a cozy squash soup.

If you're looking for me, I'll be with Winnie The Pooh, enjoying one of these as we stroll through the Hundred Acre Wood.

Ginnie The Pooh cocktail with garnishes

Share It!

It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.

Suggested Pairings

Maple Rosemary Cayenne Roasted Nuts

Orange and Cinnamon Roasted Delicata Squash

Confetti Garden Vegetable Farro Salad

Summer Picnic Chick Pea Salad

Chai-Spiced Pear Crumble Bars

Ginnie The Pooh

This seductive gin cocktail, which is inspired by the forest, features juicy blackberries, woodsy thyme, sweet honey, and earthy bitters. I'm pretty sure it's Winnie The Pooh's favorite cocktail!



For the Honey Thyme Simple Syrup

  • 0.5 c local honey
  • 0.5 c water
  • 8-10 sprigs of fresh thyme

For the Cocktail

  • 4-6 fresh, juicy blackberries
  • 2 oz gin
  • 0.25 - 0.5 oz honey thyme simple syrup
  • Dash of walnut (or other) bitters
  • 1-2 oz low-sugar ginger beer
  • Woodsy garnishes of choice


  1. To make the simple syrup, combine the honey, water, and fresh thyme in a small saucepan. Bring it to a low boil, then continue to boil until the syrup has developed a pale green color and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  2. Pour the simple syrup through a fine mesh sieve to remove the thyme leaves, then cool completely.
  3. To make the cocktail, add the blackberries to a cocktail stirring glass and muddle them so they release their colorful juice.
  4. Add the gin, honey thyme simple syrup, and bitters, then stir well with ice.
  5. Fill a serving glass with large ice cubes, then strain in the cocktail through a fine mesh sieve to remove the blackberry seeds. Top it off with ginger beer.
  6. Garnish abundantly with woodsy herbs, berries, and/or edible flowers.
  7. Store any leftover simple syrup in a jar in the fridge for up to several weeks.

Leave a Comment

Please Share Your Thoughts!

Did you make this recipe? Did you make substitutions? How did you serve it? Any helpful tips? Please share your thoughts, since these insights are really useful to both me and to other readers.

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April 16, 2024
Loved this recipe, Lee! Super refreshing and delicious! The name of this cocktail...can't get any cuter than this!
March 27, 2023
I’m making this just because the name is so fun! And it looks delicious.